8. Discounts and free gifts

Discounts

VAT may have to be charged on discounts and deals.

Offer How to charge VAT
Discounts Charged on the discounted price (not the full price)
Gifts Charged on the gift’s full value - there are some exceptions listed below
Multi-buys Charged on the combined price if all the items have the same VAT rate. If not, VAT is ‘apportioned’ as mixed-rate goods
Money-off coupons, vouchers etc No VAT due if given away free at time of a purchase. If not, VAT due on the price charged
‘Face value’ vouchers that can be used for more than one type of good or service No VAT due, if sold at or below their monetary value
Redeemed face value vouchers Charged on the full value of the transaction
Redeemed face value vouchers sold at a discount Charged on the discounted value of the transaction
Link-save offers (buy one get one free or discounted) VAT is apportioned as mixed-rate goods - there are exceptions

Exceptions for gifts and link-save offers

There’s no VAT due on gifts given to the same person if their total value in a 12 month period is less than £50.

VAT is charged on the combined value of link-save items if the incentive product:

  • has a resale value of less than £1
  • has a sale value of less than £5
  • costs you less than 20% of the total of the other items in the offer
  • isn’t sold at a separate price from the main product

Free goods and services

You don’t have to pay VAT on things like free samples if they meet certain conditions.

Supplies Condition to meet so no VAT due
Free samples Used for marketing purposes and provided in a quantity that lets potential customers test the product
Free loans of business assets The cost of hiring the asset is included in something else you sell to the customer
Free gifts The total cost of all gifts to the same person is less than £50 in a 12 month period
Free services You don’t get any payment or goods or services in return